Although Mario is sympathetic to his most inviting plumpness, the plumber has been training for years. On the sidelines of the cartoons that contributed to his fame, he tried out a whole host of disciplines. From tennis to basketball, via football and golf, the guy can not keep quiet. And during a recent Nintendo Direct, we learned that he was soon returning to his first love. The perfect opportunity to explore the hero’s career.
Everyone waited Breath of the Wild 2 but in the end it was Mario who hit hard. Hit the ball hard since the recent Nintendo Direct was an opportunity to discover Mario Golf: Super Rush, new entry of the plumber in the famous discipline scheduled for June 25. As usual, everything will contain the varied environments in Mushroom Kingdom, many characters, but also some new features. At the moment, Speed Golf has been promoted, an insane race where you have to complete a course as fast as possible. But a Story mode will also be part of the game, with RPG components like most portable Mario Golf episodes. With this title, the mascot of Nintendo goes back to his first love, since it was with this activity that his sports career started 30 years ago.
The Eyes of the Tiger Woods
Maria’s first step in sports is still discussed today. Some believe it already in 1984 in Japan, in the sober title Golf at Famicom, it’s already him, hood and red polo shirt on the jacket, which holds the headliner, despite realistic proportions. Hard to say: at that time, Super Mario Bros., which will blow Nintendo out into the world, has not yet been released, but the two Donkey Kong has already made its hole.
In any case, the development team includes a certain Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, but also Kenji Miki and Satoru Iwata, a jack-of-all-trades programmer who will be president of Nintendo from 2002 to 2015, before tragically disappearing the same year. To the three of them, they will make rules that will be part of the mother of the game of golf, especially three-stroke strikes that allow you to adjust the precision and power of a stroke. Over time, it is sometimes difficult to judge the quality of such an old game, but Golf was actually at the top of the basket. Several sources agree that it has sold more than 4 million copies in total, which would make it one of the NES ‘ten biggest hits. The title is also the third part of a sports triptych, launched by Nintendo at the same time, and which included the equally soberly named Baseball and Tennis. In this latest app, Mario proudly appears as a judge. This will also be the case in Knock out from 1987.
“It’s me, Mario”
But it wasn’t until the early 90’s and the adaptation of Golf for Game Boy that Mario was really portrayed on the cover of a sports game. It is interesting to note that this spotlight is reserved for the western version of the title, and that the tennis and baseball gates will suffer the same fate. It is all explained by the release of Super Mario Bros. a few years earlier, which will establish the dominance of Nintendo worldwide, but especially signed a victory in the West and in the United States.
The trend is confirmed with a new golf game at Famicom in 91: NES Open Tournament, where Mario wears a very nice overall in the colors of the American flag, on the western and Japanese version. It is also the first sports game that really draws on the universe of Mushroom Kingdom., with Luigi as another playable character, but also the presence of Peach, Daisy and Toad.
Main characters who want to be real competitors in the famous Super Mario Kart from 1992, whose series serves as special case in sports games led by Nintendo stars. Its success, more relevant than ever (30 million units for the last episode), is far ahead of the traditional plumbing disciplines. This will not stop Nintendo from continuing its good momentum.
Quality from Camelot
For after one Mario’s Tennis on Virtual Boy remained anecdotal due to support failure, sports betting with the famous Italian enters a form of industrialization in the early 2000s. The success of Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 has been there, and “the road to success is clear: Nintendo needs more Mario” analysis Kotaku. The company then appeals to the Camelot studio, says the same media:
Camelot, originally founded as a division of Sega in 1990, was known for its long series of RPG Shining. The studio’s only other famous title was the sports game PlayStation Alles Golf. When Camelot officially severed ties with Sega in 1998, the studio decided to join the enemy and offer the services of Sega’s bitter bitter rival, Nintendo (…) Nintendo commissioned Camelot to develop four new sports titles to be released for Nintendo. 64 and Game Boy Color over three years – From “The Ups And Downs Of Mario Sports Games”, Ben Bertoli (Kotaku)
It is the fruits of this partnership that were born, from 1999, Mario golf and Mario tennis on Nintendo 64, both of which will be entitled to their adaptation of the Game Boy, led by Camelot. The two games on the home console are very solid, and the portable versions have the originality to offer RPG elements, with dialogues, some exploration, and above all challenges to improve your player.
In the coming years, on the Gamecube, Camelot will continue to do Camelot, too Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario power tennis, often considered the best part dedicated to games with rackets. The studio then presses the fun pedal, with a mode that randomly selects the club before each shot in one and special shots in the other. Not to mention two portable episodes, this time on Game Boy Advance, where the RPG component is even more present. The machine is well oiled and success is there.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour – Waluigi Vs Birdo (Gameplay)
The land of the Wii
We talked about industrialization for Mario sports games a little earlier, well it intensified in the mid 2000s. Nintendo then asked developers other than Camelot to create these titles., which Namco on Mario Superstar Baseball and Next Level Games (recently acquired by Kyoto) Mario Smash Football. In parallel, Electronic Arts invites the plumber and his friends SSX On Tour and NBA Street V3 on the occasion of the release on Gamecube.
But the arrival of the Wii in November 2006 changes the situation: The console that will move the crowds comes directly with a sports game, Wii Sports, whose biggest assets are undoubtedly the tennis and golf events. It will thus be necessary to wait ten years before reviewing one of these subject areas stamped Mario on the home console. Although Camelot is back in 2009 for the motion game port of Mario Power Tennis as part of “New Way to Play!” -The area.
On the sidelines of two other episodes dedicated to football and baseball, it’s time to gather activities, no doubt powered by Wii Sports. And in the genre, there is one that will meet particular success: Mario & Sonic at the Olympics. Developed by Sega, the reunion of the two largest nemesis of JV sold in total for more than 10 million copies on the DS and Wii, and urged Nintendo to put the cover back on every summer and winter Olympics despite contrasting titles, where quantity often takes precedence over quality.
We will also find this error in other sports collections signed Mario, which Sports mix on Wii (2011) or Sports stars, released six years later on the 3DS. During this small speed drop, The owners of the new Nintendo laptop have still been able to rely on two new Camelot games, Mario Tennis Open and Mario Golf: World Tour. But despite its experience, the studio is not infallible. And it’s Big N’s brand new console that will pay the price.
Foul and return to the hall
Because Mario Tennis Ultra Smash, released in 2015 for the Wii U, can undoubtedly get away with the prize for the worst opus dedicated to this sport, or at least the one who received the coldest critical reception (58/100 at Metacritic and 10/20 in our columns). Camelot seems to have forgotten all his good ideas along the way, despite a successful shutter on the 3DS in 2012. Get out of the special strikes that are unique to each character, and hey to the maxi mushrooms, which quickly turn the exchanges into decisive points . We can also apologize for a fairly light content. An interview at Famitsu suggests difficulties that the team encounters:
We were scared before the development (from Mario Tennis Ultra Smash, editor’s note). Because many people have told us that it is very difficult to develop HD titles. We also wondered if we had enough manpower at the time, but we came to the conclusion that today it is inevitable to make HD titles. So we prepared and tried to meet this challenge – Hiroyuki Takahashi, Lead Designer of Mario Tennis Ultra Smash (Famitsu)
Fortunately, the last one Mario tennis ess on Switch convinced more, and would even go total to more than 3 million copies, a completely honest figure given the usual results of the license. And it’s also Camelot who will take care of the next Mario Golf: Super Rush, expected June 25, 2021. A homecoming synonymous with success? Nintendo, the ball is in your court.